We are getting ready to enter an intermediate level RallyFrEe video trial; so much of what we did today was to get ready. We still have some behaviors we need to learn and some to tune up.
Session 1 video - We started with a couple of setups to warm up Gimme's brain. Her "side" is weaker than "heel", so I do try to spend more time there. I even try to give her the bicycle PB in "side" most of the time, to increase the value for being there. I started working on backing up in "side" position, but it's not as clear for her as it is in "heel", so we usually end up using a target. I have her doing it at home without a target, but it's not strong enough to do elsewhere.
On the course, the second sign is for the position behind me, which we call "fanny", followed by the third sign where she walks behind me. We had just started learning this the other night. Part of the cue will be when I put my hands on my hips. The idea is for me to feed her from either or both hands, randomly, hoping she will stay more centered. This is the first time we've tried to do it outside my living room, so she really did fine. I thought we'd already worked every possible spin or circle variation, but apparently not. Still Gimme very quickly picked up the "around" with me turning the opposite direction. After our free choice with her pivoting 360º in "center" position I messed up and put her on the wrong side. We haven't done "otto" in awhile (though she sometimes offers it), so it took her a moment to be clear I was really asking for it.
After we finished the course we practiced backing up in "side" position. I was concerned she might be thinking any time I stopped she was to back up, but such was not the case.
Session 2 video - I started with some more backing up in "side" position. I find she gets it better if I heel across the target and then stop and back up to it. She's getting it - I just need to practice it more. This, the "fanny" behaviors and "izzy" need the most work.
On the course, on the far corner, I was confused about which side she was supposed to be in and thought it was wrong when it wasn't. I did do it wrong the time before and hadn't realized it. Fortunately Gimme doesn't care how confused I get as long as I pay well. Then follows a big discussion with J'Anna, which I've edited out. J'Anna sometimes gets to watching us and forgets to keep us in the viewfinder. You just can't get good free help these days!
The point at which I took her by the collar, there were two loose standard poodles right outside our ring gate. The person was getting a tour of the facility and I wanted to be sure what was going to happen next. She used to do a lovely forehand "pivot" on props, but nowadays it's all about backing up. If I decide to use it as a free choice move, I'll have to bring in our brick prop. We ended with a bit of "izzy" practice, but it really begs the use of guides. I've set it up with chairs before and that is workable.
Session 3 video - Before I went out to get Gimme, I set up the chairs and ring gates to form a small space to work "izzy" in. The key thing to getting this to work right is to do my shifting in the right order and timeliness... clearly I wasn't getting my part correct right away. We got some good ones, but I finally decided to create another side to our guide. I need to pack one of my extra guide sets in the car so I'll have it when I need it. She first learned stepping to her right with her back feet, so she's very good at that. I waited far too long to teach her the other direction. We worked on it until she got a couple of good repetitions and then moved on.
She does a pretty good job on the course. Do note at the end how ready she was to do "take-a". When it comes to bowing at the end, she learns the pattern very quickly. Then we end with a bit more backing up in "side".
From there she spends the rest of the day in the van while I visit my Mom and then do a long shopping trip in the wholesale Costco in Fife. Gimme is always eager to get home after any outing, but especially after a long day in the van.